So you have been using Bitwig Studio for a while now right? Now do you want to up your game with my Top 5 Bitwig Hacks and try some new stuff? Over my 6 years of using Bitwig I’ve got some favourite tips and techniques which I want to share with you.
So these techniques are all things I have learnt in my time using Bitwig Studio. Some I’ve been using for a while, however there are a couple which are very recent additions to my list of hacks. Resources are everywhere on the internet for music production techniques. Not all of them however are Bitwig Studio related. Other DAW’s can do some of this stuff I’m sure, but I’ll show you how to do these in Bitwig. Don’t have a DAW? Well why not try Bitwig Studio or a different Digital Audio Workstation?
I implement these methods on my tracks to give me great results but also something different. If you listen out to other artists, you may notice some of these methods being used. However, trying to fathom out how they are done is not always very easy. My best advice though, use your own stuff and make it sound right for you. Don’t try and sound just like another track. Be near it, but don’t be it. Do what sounds best with what you have.
Shall we get started? Here are my:
My Top 5 Bitwig Hacks
Bitwig Hacks #5 Automate Tempo
This hack is a great tool for doing long mixes or when you are producing a gapless album. As per tip #3, it is possible to automate pretty much anything you like within Bitwig Studio. So being able to drop the tempo of a song part way through is really easy to do.
So its a simple 3 step process to do this. Firstly all you need to do is right click on the Tempo in the time bar at the top of the project. From there you need to select “Add Automation Lane”.
This will add an automation lane to the MASTER TRACK. This is important as it is the only place you will be able to find the place to adjust the tempo.
From there, expand the options on the Master track and Choose “Tempo”. This will give you the ability to draw in tempo changes within the window for the various points of the track.
Bitwig Hacks #4 Make It Loud
This is a new one for me and I have to give big Thanks to Polarity for this one. Make it loud with a peak limiter. Using a preset FX chain split into 3 band (low, mid and high), you can then peak limit at each band. This then allows you to get the most of the available headroom before and limiting takes place. Splitting this among bands makes it more flexible and allow you to push more out of each area.
Using this technique means you get more loudness in the areas of the track without compensating on other aspects of the mix. Obviously care needs to be taken to avoid any distortion or clipping, but it just gives that little push to the extreme which is sometimes needed.
Bitwig Hacks #3 Automate Anything With Modulators
Use Bitwig Studio for what it is made for. MODULATION. Modulate any parameter!
The modulation tools in Bitwig Studio are what I think it is all about. Anything can be modulated and controlled so easily. Whether that be a volume knob, mix of an effect or tempo speed, the options are there.
Keep a look out for the circle with an arrow pointing out next to it. That is the modulation options. Then click the plus and be greeted with a list of modulation toys. (See above picture.) These all have different characteristics and can be assigned to a device or value. Simply click the button to modulate, and while it is flashing, move the device or knob you want to modulate for the value to adjust with the modulator. Once assigned, click the modulation button again.
You don’t need to have Bitwig to try modulation. There are plenty of modulators you can buy as audio plugins which can be used in your DAW.
Then have a flick through the settings and see what effects can be had by automating modulation. You can even modulate a modulator depending upon the value. Great effects can be had with the arpeggiator and LFO tool. Speed up and slow down. There is so much to choose from including those which are in time with the beat, those on a frequency cycle. All sorts of options are on offer. The best way to learn here is to play with it.
Bitwig Hacks #2 Use Send Effects With Mid/Side Split
Send your effects to an Aux (Send Channel) and pan using m/s split.
Map an output of a device effect to a Send or Aux channel. On that channel add a Mid Side split utility. On the Mid Side split effect, remove the mid and boost the side slightly. The what a load of reverb on the side effect. This will mean your reverb is on the sides only and gives an effect of space without hogging the middle of the stereo scope.
Bitwig Hacks #1 Dynamics For Kick Bass Sidechain
Ducking, Sidechaining. Comes with plenty of names but having the ability to do this with a built in tool is really useful. Check out the video on how to achieve pumping dynamics in Bitwig Studio. I’ve got loads of videos and how to tips and hints on my youtube channel
Kick Bass sidechaining is a staple of the EDM era. Overdoing it can cause the “pumping” effect (think anything David Guetta does), so care needs to be taken to avoid over using this (like David Guetta does). Too much sounds pants in my opinion.
However just the right amount of Kick / Bass sidechaining allows for space in the mix for the kick to strike without clashing with the bass. Both these devices use similar frequencies so you need to make sure that you don’t get too much low end build up in your mix. Using the Dynamics tool in Bitwig is a great solution and sidechaining the input allows the space to be made.
Thanks for reading about my top 5 Bitwig Hacks. I hope you will be able to use these tips and hints effectively in your home music production to bring your tracks to life.
Stuck for creativity?
Aside from my eBook below, there are plenty of books on line which can help you with improving your creativity and inspiration. Check out this music inspiration book on Amazon.
50 Mixing Tips eBook
These are only 5 of my favourite hacks. I have the eBook which contains similar Bitwig Hacks – but there are 50 mixing tips in there! So for more hacks – download the eBook